Book review: I am Malala


Picked up this book after our visit to library two days ago. In light of the recent Peshawar attacke, I decided to have a read and learn more about the politics and situation in Pakistan.

I knew about the shooting that happened two years ago. Malala, pictured above, is a Pakistani teenager who lived in Swat – a town in Pakistan who is still kampung I guess and not like the developed cities of Islamabad or Peshawar. Her region has been fighting with the Taliban to have girls
going to school. Up until five or six years ago, the Taliban was having the upper hand there and declared girls above 14 yrs of age were not allowed to go to school. Like, whats the point. The army took over after and they had almost normal way of living aka none of the Talibanisation around them (they couldnt have TV/CD/DVD and have to wear purdah when the Talibans were at its peak – amongst the many things imposed on them).

However, in 2012, she was shot on the side of her head. The book is about the history/politics of Swat in particular and covers whats happening with CIA, Pakistan army and Taliban. If you’ve been watching this season’s Homeland, suddenly Homeland makes sense and actually not too far off from the truth (in the sense that things are complex there and you cant trust anyone.)

The book is the cause of sleep deprivation in last two days. I couldnt put it down. The book is written as narrated by Malala, so no heavy wordings or explanation of politics. Her ambition and stance is quite inspiring.

In that part of the world (and many others), the boys and girls
struggle to get an education. Especially the girls. Either they cant afford it or not allowed by family to go or they need to work to make ends meet for family. As for me, for us in Brunei, education is taken for granted. It is expected on us – it’s not about whether you’re going to school but whether you’re going to get No 1 spot.

Yet we’re still behind in development and progress compared to our neighbouring countries, Malaysia and Singapore. In my opinion, the education system in Brunei encourages memorisation but not creativity and innovation. Well, back in my days anyway. Maybe it’s much better now, I’m hoping it’s much better now.

Anyway, have a read of this book. Highly recommended.

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